Following the Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, President Joe Biden intends to petition the Federal Trade Commission to defend consumer data privacy as early as this week, according to a new report from Axios.
Biden is anticipated to ask the FTC in a letter to do something about protecting pregnant women’s and new parents’ internet privacy. Biden will remark that the FTC “should not allow unfair or deceptive activities connected to reporting, monitoring, sharing, or sale of personal information — including sensitive health-related information — in any state,” according to Axios.
Privacy groups and politicians said that information gathered from period-tracking apps and other internet services might put Americans seeking abortions at danger shortly after the Supreme Court’s decision last week. Large volumes of personal information about individuals are gathered by online platforms, frequently including location and sensitive health information.
In anticipation of the Supreme Court’s decision, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) presented a measure earlier this month called the Health and Location Protection Act that would place a broad restriction on the selling of this sort of information.
“Data brokers pose major hazards to Americans worldwide by selling their most private information,” Warren said in a statement earlier this month. “They make money from the location data of millions of people.” “It is more important than ever for Congress to protect customers’ sensitive data, especially with this radical Supreme Court ready to overturn Roe v. Wade and states attempting to criminalize basic health care.”
It’s unclear how the FTC will respond to Biden’s request, but the organization has already pursued period-tracking apps for alleged privacy infractions. Popular period and fertility monitoring app Flo reached a settlement with the FTC in January 2021 over claims that it deceived consumers about how it shared their personal health information with companies like Facebook and Google. As a result of the settlement, Flo was mandated to notify consumers of how their data was previously shared and get their consent before doing so going forward.
Reproductive health professionals “are not compelled to reveal private medical information to other parties,” according to new patient privacy advice published on Wednesday by the US Department of Health and Human Services.
On Thursday, Biden spoke at a NATO conference in Spain and backed the Senate’s efforts to codify Roe v. Wade by making an exemption to the filibuster rule.
Roe v. Wade ought to be codified into the law, according to Biden. And if the filibuster comes in the way, just as with voting rights, we should make an exception for this, calling for a filibuster exemption for this action to address the Supreme Court ruling.